Well... my sidekick and true friend...Gabe Terry ‘Gabe’ Gabrion has been put on life-support... His family found him unconscious this evening at his apartment. The hospital staff has determined he suffered a massive brain bleed. He is not expected to pull out of this one.
He has had more near death experiences than any cat I’ve ever known....way more than the normal nine lives.
Gabe and his family could use all of our prayers tonight.
I have recommended they keep him on life-support till 8am in the morning...
If no improvement is seen... then keep him comfortable. He would want to pass peacefully...
I’m putting all this out there...‘cause my family and friends are his friends.
Gabe came into my life in 1982, via Otis Joe Miller...He has been my right hand man ever since.
Gabe emceed every show and performed at most.
He also was my Editor and Production Manager at The Bald Knob Banner for many of my 20 years as Owner/Publisher.
If his health would have held up...we never would have closed them.
He was one of a kind...and knew how I wanted things done. He lived for being the back stage coordinator...
I’ve always been eternally grateful for his heart of gold and dedication. He gave it his all...
Gabe believed that Jesus Christ had saved his soul. We have prayed that prayer more than once.
When the time comes...we will set a memorial and scatter some of his ashes from the Farm Amphitheater stage...his favorite place...and commit the rest to his family plot.
My prayers are for him to pass naturally and peacefully...so his daughter Hannah doesn’t have to make that decision. He asked me to make it for him if this time came.
And I ask that The Holy Spirit receive his soul ... as that time is near...
Well... The Gabe Eagle took flight last night about 9:30pm...!!! Our Brother and friend has transformed into the Afterlife...walking streets of gold...jamming with like-minded souls...
He will be missed... but no longer in pain. He fought the great fight...
He loved his friends and family.
He always spoke of his daughters, Michelle and Hannah. As well as his grandchildren... with Hannah’s third on the way...
Hannah says that they will set a Military Service at the Veteran’s Pavillian and Cemetery in Jacksonville. They can’t set a date ‘til they know when to expect his ashes back.
I will post info when given to me.
We will still dedicate Strawberry Jam ‘18 to Gabe... and have a memorial for him from the stage.
A happy time...I’m done with the sorrow.... That’s what he would want.
The family looks forward to this grand celebration as well.!!!
Rest In Peace Red One...
Gabe was to Barth Grayson’s shows what Chip Monck was to Woodstock. When you heard his voice before a band took the stage, you knew the Open Air Eagle was about to take flight.
Even when he was talking to me about his
failing health back in June of this year, he was never far away from sharing a chuckle. Before seeing him at this years Strawberry Jam in Bald Knob, I hadn’t seen Gabe in over 5 years.
He gave me a hug from his wheel chair and we started catching up.
You just could not see Gabe and NOT SMILE!
We’ve lost a true Arkansas legend!
Cheap Thrills co-founder and bassist Doug C Rood (a.k.a The Human Metronome) recalls “It was early 7th grade. I walked into the Malvern Jr. Highschool band room and the band director, Wayne Winston, was sitting on a stool, playing the stereo loud and just jamming on his old Fender bass. At that moment I KNEW that’s what I HAD to do.” He played frequently with several country and classic rock combos. “For a while, I played with Bruce Webb and Mountain Dew as the house band for a reformed Louisiana Hayride Show on KWKH radio in Shreveport, LA. We’d get there before noon, practice with the acts until evening, then perform live on the radio that night. Pack up, drive home to crash after an 18 hour day. Then do it again the next weekend.” When Doug was asked to road crew for an eight-piece show band which included his long-time mentor Wayne Winston on bass that played Motown, Soul and Rhythm & Blues classics, his fate was truly sealed. “I loved that stuff from the start!” Cheap Thrills grew out of his impetus to play this sound along with Stax and Muscle Shoals influences. After several years and musical adventures, he found them. The professional showman that Doug is (along with his knack for all things technical) has cemented his place as the staging and sound provider for his band and others in addition to his bass skills.
Kenny Mann is the youngest member of the group. His energy and excitement are evident as both lead guitar and lead vocalist. Kenny’s parents gave him a pivotal gift when he was 12 years old. It was a Blues Series guitar and he hasn’t been without a guitar since. He joined the first band (Hair Metal) at barely 15 and by 18 had found the Blues. In 2001 the Guitar Alliance website (on-line guitar lessons) was launched as a way to blend his internet marketing experience with a love for guitar. As the lead singer and guitarist for Spinning Jenny he spent several years playing all across the southern united states. Kenny’s voice makes the listener feel every emotion and want to hear more. The blues is a natural home for this talented musician.
The band’s saxophone player is Jim “Larry” Glover who started playing piano/harmonica at 5, sax/woodwinds at 9 and drums at 10. He soon started doing session work and playing in Jazz and Blues clubs at the tender age of 13 including at the historic Vapors in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Larry has since gone on to do session work as a Sax player, drummer, keyboard player and even backing vocals for a lot of artists on the Stax/Atlantic label and many other major labels. His first taste of touring was in 1966 with the Stars of Stax. After a break to be a single father, his new wife Deb dragged him and his alto sax to an open mic in Branson MO in 2006. “That makes this go around all her fault”, he says. After a taste of playing on stage again, he has not stopped. After moving to Hot Springs AR in 2016 and joining the Spa City Blues Society, he began sitting in at the jams. Today he still jams with the Blues Society and is playing on the first saxophone he ever bought. It is a beautiful 1960 Cleveland King Alto (1922 Buescher Tenor on his stand too). As far as Cheap Thrills going to Memphis, Larry maintains, “the first fifty-some years of playing were so much fun, I’m eager to see how good the next 50 will be.”
David Ashcroft (a.k.a. The Reverend of The Blues) moves your soul through his keyboard expressions and well trained vocal contributions. The Rev’s earliest influence was his uncle Alvin Maloch who was a 1940s/50s professional jazz pianist. David’s mother shared the big band and orchestra music she loved and his big brother planted the roots that brought him to the Blues. At 11 he began to take classical piano. School choir and voice training were going on while studying harmonica. In his early 20s David worked for Capital Keyboards demonstrating organs throughout the state. This is where he met Dale Rich. Dale was a retired jazz Hammond Organ player and concert organist for the Lawrey Organ Company. Mr. Rich embraced and mentored David in jazz and blues organ. Variety is the spice of life they say and this musician embraced the philosophy. David was involved with groups that did full acoustic (Acoustic Fusion), all originals (Tri-Chord),as well as old Rhythm & Blues (Urban City Band). Later he played piano, organ and harmonica with Steve Hester and DeJaa Vodoo who graced the stage at Minglewood Hall in Memphis; House of Blues in Dallas and Juanita’s in Little Rock. This group opened for the likes of Samantha Fish, Eric Gale, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Johnny Winter. Supporting Blues societies in Arkansas has become a passion for David including volunteering for their Blues In The Schools programs mentoring young blues musicians.
Harvey Splawn (a.k.a. Hurricane Harvey) has played drums and sang for nearly 30 years being lucky enough to jam and perform with seasoned musicians early on (Destiny with the late Robin Hood as well as Lynda Mason from Monticello). In the 80's he beat out the country rhythm with a couple groups, and with Fatal Attraction played R&B and classic rock in LA (Lower Arkansas). After a short sabbatical he returned to the stage in the late 90s as part of trio group with Dean Mullins (bass), Tom Colby (guitar/vocals) which played 60’s and 70’s rock. Doug had been impressed with Harvey as a great drummer since college, and once he auditioned for Cheap Thrills in May 2018 it was clear that his harmonies and percussion were a perfect fit. Fans are excited that Harvey is following his hearts rhythm to the Blues sound this talented group performs.
“Your support is undeniably crucial to the next step in our bands journey. Thank you all!!”, The Human Metronome (a.k.a. Doug Rood).
For more information about this band, or to book Cheap Thrills, please call 501-655-6478
Having spent most of the '70's playing music throughout North America, I realized that what was missing were the old underground newspapers I loved in Seattle as a teenager. You know, the 'alternative media' on the streets…they would tell you all the news the dailies would not…all the most important things like where to skinny dip, where to rock and roll, unexpected shows happening at the last minute, where the best parties were set to happen…
Being on tour in the '70s was a serious challenge to say the least, since there really wasn't a guide…there was no 'alternative media', there was no internet to speak of, and since it was still pre-cell phone era (and calling anywhere long distance could cost $3 a minute or even more), one could easily burn through one gig's pay to chase down gig leads.
The best habit I learned was to ask the club owners and bartenders and wait-staff where to play in the next city along the way…(and always tell the new query that it was highly recommended to call them…you've got to play the politics you know…)
I was playing at a lounge in Colorado Springs…back in the motel room by 11, I had several hours to wind down before I could sleep…just sitting there making notes about the trip and plans.
That's when it hit me: when I got back to my mountain top in the Ozarks I decided I would create this publication…not as much of a guide to the public as a work guide for musicians. It would include the contacts, phone numbers, mailing addresses, calendars and even open dates…I'd kept a road diary for years, called 'Nightflying Down Hamburger Alley', so when I was deciding on a name for this rag I chose it.
We kept the base in Fayetteville for just a couple years. When we decided to go state-wide we moved to the foot of Petit Jean Mountain, where it would be considerably more stabilized for covering the region.
And then we set up shop in a delightful 3-house compound in Little Rock where we stayed for about 7 years, then adding Memphis and Western Mississippi, Southern Missouri, Eastern Oklahoma and Northeast Texas.
Along the way we developed many contacts and connections.
Since Nightflying was (and is) the only all-music publication in the region, we were approached by virtually everyone doing music programs to help promote their shows.
As a result, NF was one of the founding powers-that-be of nearly every music festival in the state, including the King Biscuit Blues Fest, the Eureka Springs Blues Festival, Bikes, Blues & BBQ, and so on…
Also, due to recording with Louis Meyers back in the 70s, he approached us when he developed SXSW…We are proud to have been one of the founding publications of what has become the largest annual festival of its kind in the world.
There are many, many people we owe a debt of gratitude to, of course: Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who gave us our first national press credentials to attend the US Festival; Dickie Pool, The owner of the infamous Library Club; Bob Boyd, who ran Boyd Music in Little Rock; Jim Porter, the booking agent and connection king to all things music in Arkansas at the time; Jack Hill and Kelley Bass, music writers for the Arkansas Democrat and Gazette, respectively; Rick Calhoun, the booking agent who helped us become a respected music publication with the Musicians Union; all the advertisers who have supported us through the years…and especially the musicians of Arkansas, who, without their talent and ability would have made this a short-run…they really ARE that good, people…world-class players who could go anywhere and do anything.
We stopped actually printing a couple years ago and went to this completely digital approach…which is quite good. Nowadays we don't have to race around 6 states to deliver publications in the snow and ice storms and tornados…nowadays we don't have to live with typos for a month…or shows we missed listing…
The joke around here for years was that we were putting the Exxon worker's kids through college.
Thanks to everyone along the way.
As Jerry Garcia once said, "what a long, strange trip it's been…"